Major EV charging trial covers 3000 vehicles

A three-year trial of commercial electric vehicles (EVs) has been given the green light by Ofgem. It will see up to 3,000 electric vehicles from Centrica, Uber and a large UK depot-based parcel carrier take to the road, supported by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, Hitachi Europe and Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions. The project will be led by Hitachi Vantara and UK Power Networks.

The project will deliver an end-to-end overview of what the switch to EVs means for the cables and substations. It is intentionally vehicle agnostic and includes depot, home, and on-the-road charging scenarios. The largest cross-industry datasets on commercial EV charging and use will be shared openly.

The partners will contribute £18 million of funding and £16.6 million will come via Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition.

Using large, real-life datasets and Internet of Things technologies, the project will create a detailed picture of the demands of electric fleet and private hire vehicles. This will make it possible to develop solutions that cut the cost of owning and running electric vehicles, such as charging EVs outside the electricity network’s peak times.